Head Teacher Blog

Participation at an employability conference organised for young people

January seems to be lasting a long time this year, but we kept warm and busy with another active week.
For some , the week started on Sunday 22nd with participation at an employability conference organised for young people across Wiltshire where our older pupils really shone.

More credit to our year 7 pupils who visited Marden Court this week. Wonderful to hear about their interactions with residents and even responding well when one of the residents was a little critical of their handwriting!

Staff attended the BETT show, where they were able to pick up more ideas about using technology to support learning

We also had our first ever Science trainees from Bath Spa university, another great opportunity for us to develop.

Looking forward to next September, we held the first Year.9 options assembly, so that thinking and planning can begin for those pupils and their future.

Perhaps most importantly, with the world as it is, we addressed Holocaust Memorial Day through many year.9 pupils and Life Skills pupils studying ‘The Boy in the striped pyjamas’.

Thanks are again due to our mentors from St Marys for their work in celebrating Burns night with our residential pupils with some Scottish themed art work.

A busy week! With more to follow!

Kind regards

Jon Hamp

What a week! Once again we’ve been enjoying the company of trainees from Bath Spa University

What a week! Once again we’ve been enjoying the company of trainees from Bath Spa University , this week, drama trainees, who did a wonderful assembly presenting one of Roald Dahl’s finest revolting rhymes, Cinderella.

Many thanks to all at Devizes police who showed some pupils around the emergency helicopter. If you’re in school there is a collecting tin for the air ambulance on reception.

We will also be working, throughout 2017 with partner schools on the Kelston Barn project. Participation in this project will give us access to a wonderful camping and outdoor facility, between Bath and Brsiatol, that we can use throughout the year for a range of outdoor and curriculum enrichment activities.

Thursday was a day of business and enterprise. We started the morning with breakfast with Calne Chamber Of Commerce discussing our fund raising plans, and then the pupils got stuck into a whole day of enterprise activities led by Ryman National Enterprise challenge.  There were some clear Alan Sugars and Karen Bradys in the making! Click the link to see the blog that details all the experiences,  http://www.springfields.wilts.sch.uk/the-ryman-national-enterprise-challenge/ It was particularly great to see our pupils working successfully in a large group, in a new environment , on a challenging task. They did brilliantly in meeting the high expectations that were set for them.  Also great in assembly, to see progress in Maths being rewarded. Well done to all!

A big thank you to all parents/ carers who were able to attend on Wednesday evening. The evening format works much better for us and I hope you will all continue to support it. We will keep improving our work with you as the link between us must become stronger , to help us find all the best strategies to support your child.

Enjoy your weekend. Kind regards

Jon Hamp

Headteacher

 

It’s been great to get back and see everyone and get 2017 off to a flying start.

Dear Parent / Carer

Happy New Year!

It’s been great to get back and see everyone and get 2017 off to a flying start. We have great plans to make the Academy better than ever.

Our new year resolutions are to:

  • Further meet pupil need,  ensuring  all our pupil’s make the best possible progress
  • Improve communication and collaboration across all staffing to maximise the impact of all our expertise for our pupils.
  • Develop fantastic maths support across the whole Academy so that all staff are working to develop this vital life skill.

We’ll also keep on working to improve

  • communication with parents/ carers and pupils.
  • Our co-ordinated  approach to Healthy Schools (including listening to  Pupil Voice and Staff well-being).
  • Utilisation of all Academy facilities and resources.
  • Enhance the Academy’s reputation with all stake holders and the wider community.

We’ve had a great start, this week to our breakfast club with pupils enjoying the healthy range on offer. We’ll strive to be a healthier school all round in 2017.

We’ve also begun planning an exciting range of trips and activities for the Spring and summer. The legendary camping trips will be re-occurring!

Next week, to further support us , we’ve got Bath Spa University trainees in to develop their knowledge and share their energy and drive.

Everywhere you look, confidence is up and all staff are ready for the challenges and excitement of the year ahead.

I hope that you had a great Christmas and are looking forward to working with us through 2017.

Note there is an open evening for Parents / Carers on January 18 1630-1930. I hope that you can join us then, to discuss both your child’s care plan and progress.

Kind regards

Jon Hamp

A great way to end the term after such a busy and successful year.

What a great way to end the term after such a busy and successful year.  I received many messages of support at the end of the year, one from the Local Authority that thanked Springfields for its ability to ‘go all out’ to support our pupils. That is what we’ve been doing and what we will continue to do , even better, in 2017.

Aside from simply celebrating Christmas, it was a great week for showing the development of our social skills in the community, an essential element of our work.  Firstly , I was so impressed by the attitude and behaviour of all those who attended our Carol service at St Marys on Tuesday. It was lovely to see so many parents there too, to hear the beautiful singing. Many , many thanks to the Rev Bob Kenway for allowing us once again to be gathered in at St Marys, and to David Bevan for his fabulous organ playing .

On Wednesday , Springfields was out and about ; at Bristol Zoo, At Longleat, in the West Woods, skating and making the most of many local establishments.

We ended the week with a Christmas dinner for us all, and a rousing chorus of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’. Especially for the wonders of our dinner, can I take opportunity to thank our Catering staff for a very long shift. It has been a year in which all teams ; admin, care, cleaners, drivers, governors, laundry,  maintenance, nightcare and teachers have ‘gone all out’. Thank you.

Last but not least can I take opportunity to thank all our external friends and supporters, particularly,  Devizes Rotary, for their generous support throughout the year and specifically for the kind donation of three Christmas hampers..

With the improvements that have been made throughout 2016; (to our environment , to our teaching and knowledge of our pupils and what they need most, to our record keeping and monitoring ) with the developments that are currently being led and managed, and our deep understanding of what we must do next to further improve, the Academy ends 2016 in a strong position; ready to positively present itself to the community, strong enough to expand and reflective in its practices.

Can I thank you all for your support, your commitment, and at times your patience. We will strive to continue to improve in all our communications with you.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2017. We start again on January 3.

Kind regards

Jon Hamp

Headteacher

 

Brilliant evidence of social development with superb support from staff.

Firstly, congratulations to our primary pupils who have gained their first national qualifications in animal care and riding through the RDA. This is a great achievement and indicates that we drive for qualifications for our pupils as soon as we can, and as soon as they are ready. Brilliant evidence of social development with superb support from staff.

A great week for trips and visitors. Pupils were invited to Nandos in Trowbridge where they were royally treated and did the Academy credit through their behaviour. Nandos deserve our thanks for their ongoing support to the Academy. Pupils have also been out shopping, again as part of their social skills and independence development, and Ketu pupils enjoyed an evening on the dry ski slopes.

A great night was also had at the Christmas Fayre on Thursday. Thank you so much to all who were able to attend and support. We will keep holding these events so that more and more of our community get to realise what a proud and vibrant part of the community Springfields can be.

Many thanks at this point in the year to all our many supporters; to the girls from St Marys for the quality of their mentoring, to our colleagues from Uplands School Swindon, and Mulberry Bush Oxfordshire and of course to our Governors who work tirelessly to help improve our provision.

It has been a good last full week of the year, and next week will be full of celebration. Please see the chart below which in broad terms clarifies the week’s events and changes to routine.

AM

PM

Mon 12

Lessons as usual

Carol practice (for those attending church). GYM 1430

Tues 13

Lessons as usual

1400 Carol Service St Marys Church. (KS2 and 3 pupils)

1500 all children back on site.

(parents can collect pupils from school after the carol service)

Weds 14

Tutor led activities on and off site. TRIPS

1330 Pantomime. Aladdin.

1445. (Opportunity for parents of Maple class to meet their new class teacher Miss Lawrence)

Thurs 15

Tutor led activities.

Christmas jumper day.

(£1 for staff)

Christmas lunch

School ends at 1400

We are looking forward to it!

Kind regards

Jon Hamp

Christmas Fayre on Thursday 8 December starting at 1800. Please come and support.

Another busy and cold week at the academy . Before the celebrations begin we’re ensuring that we keep everything as calm and routine as possible. It is important we acknowledge the importance of advent and Christmas in the annual calendar but this time of year can also trigger anxieties for many of our pupils, and all staff are sensitive to this.

So next week, being our last full week , is business as usual, aside from the Christmas Fayre on Thursday 8 December starting at 1800. Please come and support.

Then in our final week, we have the Carol service for our younger pupils at St Marys church at 1400 on Tuesday 13, a day of activities for the children in the 14th and Christmas dinner on the 15th which is the last day of term.

Thank you if you have already communicated regarding these events, and your attendance.

A key date in January will be our parents day on the 18th January at 16:30. There will also be a parent/ carer forum meeting that you will be able to attend plus the opportunity to discuss your child’s care plan with their tutor.

Well done and thank you to our staff who raised funds and our profile at the Calne Christmas lights switch on. I hope you saw them if you were there and enjoyed being record breakers for the world’s biggest ever nativity.

Wishing you a warm weekend! And I hope to see you at the Christmas Fayre on Thursday 18:00.

With kind regards

Jon Hamp.

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Lots of learning , lots of playing and lots of visitors!

A full winter’s week of activity. Lots of learning , lots of playing and lots of visitors! Many thanks to Sharon from Wiltshire Parent Carer Council who spoke to the parent forum on Tuesday . The WPCC provide a wealth of information about special educational needs, benefits & money, social care services, schools & learning, legal matters and more, as well as how to apply for the Short Breaks Scheme, funded by Wiltshire Council.  If you haven’t already signed up to receive information directly from WPCC please do so either by phone 01225 764647, 10am-5pm, Monday to Friday or visit the website at wiltshireparentcarercouncil.co.uk.  One of WPCC primary roles is to feedback to Wiltshire Council what works well and what doesn’t work so well for the parents and carers living in Wiltshire.  They support schools and individuals alike. Please have a look and sign up and register if you’re interested.

We also received our panel report form the National Autistic society Accreditation Award Panel . The full report will be on the website next week, but to quote briefly from the summary statement; ‘the panel acknowledge the high focus the Academy has on the child’s wellbeing  and liked the work being done on helping pupils to understand their autism.’

Next week we have a Dallaglio rugby trip and the next group of pupils ready to develop their team and leadership skills.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially on the residential houses ! Not long now – we have a great list of events planned in the last week; don’t forget the Christmas Fayre on December 8 at 1800 and the Carol service for KS2 and 3 pupils at 1400 St Mary church, Calne on December 13.

Many thanks to all those who have expressed interest in our  breakfast club. It’s not too late! A reminder , breakfasts club will run Monday to Friday 0830-0845.healthy options available , £1 per day. Please contact Therese Flaherty if you are interested.

It was also great at parent / carer forum to hear from Mr Hurles about the success of family outdoor learning. We will aim to build on this success through the spring and summer. Further details to be communicated in the new year.

Please don’t forget the Academy is closed to pupils on November 25 and 28 so two short weeks coming up before Advent begins.

Many thanks as ever for your continued support.

Kind regards

Jon Hamp

At Springfields we believe in a broad and balanced curriculum.

At Springfields we believe in a broad and balanced curriculum. The world becomes ever more complex and challenging,  especially as  world leaders change! so the need to try to understand it grows.

In this light, I was pleased to be able to lead a trip to the mosque in Bristol to help our pupils understand more about Muslims.

Our pupils behaviour and questioning were outstanding . They wanted to know and understand more and were not phased or afraid to ask the questions that were on their minds. Providing further opportunities such as this, in the real world where all the children will eventually live and work, is a very important part of their education. It combines both life and social skills and serves to open the mind to the challenges and wonders of diversity. This term all pupils are enjoying looking at the different faiths in the world and how all faiths help to positively shape good behaviour in society.

Similarly it was a pleasure to be with our pupils for the Community Remembrance Service at St Marys, Calne. Again our pupils showed great character by coping with a new environment and working with their peers from the local schools. I was also in time to get back for own assembly , where as a school we took time to stop for a moment and  remember in silence.

As a contrast, but no less challenging, well done to the Ketu pupils who explored the Long Barrow on a cold winter’s night.  For some, Thursday was a day full of difference  and surprises!

Please don’t forget parents forum at 1830 Tuesday 15th. I know Steve, Vicky and Andy will be pleased to see you if you can make it. There will be a presentation by the SEN information officer from WPCC (Wiltshire Parent Carer Council) https://www.wiltshireparentcarercouncil.co.uk  a voluntary organisation, managed by parents and carers FOR parents and carers           

And another reminder ; the Academy will be closed to all pupils on Friday November 25 and Monday November 28.

Hoping you can stay warm and dry!

Kind regards

Jon Hamp